Propolis is a natural resinous substance collected by honey bees from buds and exudates of plant species, mixed with bee enzymes, pollen and wax. It has a complex composition with a wide range of effects, including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiflogistic, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, carcinostatic and immunomodulatory properties. It is often applied in the treatment of diseases involving the oral cavity and gums. The aim of this paper is to describe the therapeutic properties of propolis, chemical composition and its application in the oral cavity. Literature and systematic information on the composition and the effects of propolis on health were collected, with particular reference to the use in the treatment of oral cavity diseases. The chemical composition of propolis is very complex. The health impact depends on the biologically active components it contains. A particularly important application is in the treatment of diseases of the oral cavity. Studies show that propolis can help prevent dental caries and control gingivitis and plaque. It reduces halithosis (bad breath) and symptoms of periodontosis. It is also effective in fighting viruses. It can have significant application in orthodontics and restorative dentistry. A wide range of effects allows the multiple uses of propolis-based products. Recent research has been increasingly focused on diseases of the oral cavity. The development of novel propolis-based pharmaceutical forms could significantly reduce the use of antibiotics in conventional treatment of diseases of the oral cavity.
1. Coutinho A. Honeybee propolis extract in periodontal treatment: A clinical and microbiological study of propolis in periodontal treatment. Indian J Dent Res, 2012;23:2:294
2. Kamburoglu K, Ozen T. Analgesic effect of Anatolian propolis in mice. Agri, 2011;23:47-50.
3. Ghisalberti EL. Propolis – review. Bee world, 1979;60:59-84.
4. Vagish Kumar LS. Propolis in dentistry and oral cancer management. N Am J Med Sci, 2014;6:250-259.
5. Toreti VC, Sato HH, Pastore GM, Park YK. Recent progress of propolis for its biological and chemical compositions and its botanical origin. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2013;2013:697390
6. Martinotti S, Ranzato E. Propolis: a new frontier for wound healing? Burns Trauma, 2015;22:3-9.
7. Szliszka E, Kucharska AZ, Sokol-Letowska A, Mertas A, Czuba ZP, Krol W. Chemical Composition and Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Ethanolic Extract of Brazilian Green Propolis on Activated J774A.1 Macrophages. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2013:976415
8. Tosi A, Romagnoli C, Bruni A. Antrimicrobial activity of some commercial extracts of propolis prepared with different solvents. Phytother Res, 1996;1014:335-336.
9. Umthong S, Phuwapraisirisan P, Puthong S, Chancao C. In vitro antiproliferative acitvity of partially purified Trigona laeviceps propolis from Thailand on human cancer cell lines. BMC Complement Alternat Med, 2011;11:37
10. Marcucci M. Propolis: chemical composition, biological properties and therapeutic activity. Apidologie, 1995;26:83-99.
11. Fokt H, Pereira A, Ferreira AM, Cunha A, Aguiar C. How do bees prevent hive infections? The antimicrobial properties of propolis. Current Research, Technology and Education Topics in Applied Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology (ed. by Mendez-Vilas A), 2010; 481-493.
12. Choma IM, Grzelak EM. Bioautography detection in thin layer chromatography. J Chromatogr A, 2011;1218:2684-2691.
13. Burdock GA. Review of the biological properties and toxicity of bee propolis. Food and Chem Toxicol, 1998;6:347-363.
14. Park YK, Alencar SM, Aguiar CL. Botanical origin and chemical composition of Brazilian propolis. J Agric Food Chem, 2002;50:2502-2506.
15. Pietta PG, Gardana C, Pietta AM. Analytical methods for quality control of propolis, Fitoterapia, 2002;73:S7-S20.
16. Alencar S, Oldoni T, Castro M, Cabral I, Costa-Neto C, Cury J et al. Chemical composition and biological activity of a new type of Brazilian propolis: Red propolis, J Ethnopharmacol, 2007;113:278-283.
17. Campo FM, Cuesta-Rubio O, Rosado PA. GC-MS determination of isoflavonoids in seven red Cuban propolis samples. J Agric Food Chem, 2008;56:9927-9932.
18. Maciejewicz W. Isolation of flavonoid aglycones from propolis by column chromatography method and their identification by GC-MS and TLC methods. J Liq Chromatogr Relat Technol, 2001;24:1171-1179.
19. Shuai H, Cui-Ping Z, Kai W, George QL, Fu-Liang H. Recent Advances in the Chemical Composition of Propolis. Molecules, 2014;19:19610-19632.
20. Bogdanov S. Propolis: Composition, Health, Medicine: A Review. Bee Product Science, 2017:1-44.
21. Viuda-Martos M, Ruiz-Navajas Y, Fernandez-Lopez J, Perez-Alvarez JA. Functional properties of honey, propolis and royal jelly. J Food Sci, 2008;73:R117-R124.
22. Scalbert A, Johnson IT, Saltmarsh M. Polyphenols: antioxidants and beyond. Am J Clin Nutr, 2005;81:215S-217S.
23. Almaraz-Abarca N, da Graca Campos M, Avila-Reyes JA, Naranjo-Jimenez N, Herrera Corral J, Gonzales-Valdez LS. Antioxidant activity of polyphenolic extract of monofloral honeybee-collected pollen from mesquite (Prosopis juliflora, Leguminosae). J Food Compos Anal, 2007;2:119-124.
24. Silva-Carvalho R, Baltazar F, Almeida-Aguiar C. Propolis: A Complex Natural Product with a Plethora of Biological Activities That Can Be Explored for Drug Development. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2015;2015:1-29.
25. Fabris S, Bertelle M, Astafyeva O, Gregoris E, Zangrando R, Gambaro A, saradnici. Antioxidant properties and chemical composition relationship of europeans and Brazilians propolis. Pharmacol Pharm, 2013;4:46-51.
26. Duthie GG, Gardner PT, Kyle JAM. Plant polyphenols: are they the new magic bullet? Pro Nutr Soc, 2003;62:599-603.
27. De Almeida EC, Menezes H. Anti-inflammatory activity of propolis extracts: a review. J Venom Anim Toxins, 2002;8:191-212.
28. Havsteen BH. The biochemistry and medical significance of the flavonoids, Pharmacol Ther, 2001;96:67-202.
29. Bankova V. Chemical diversity of propolis makes it a valuable source of new biologically active compounds. JAAS, 2009;1:23-28.
30. Bankova V, Popova M, Trusheva B. Plant origin of propolis: Latest developments and importance for research and medicinal use. In Marghitas L. A., Dezmierean D. (eds) Apicultura – De la stiinta la agribusiness si apiterapie. Editura Academic Pres. Cluj Napoca, 2007; 40-46.
31. Farooqui T, Farooqui A. Molecular Mechanism Underlying the Therapeutic Activities of Propolis: A Critical Review. Curr Nutr Food Sci, 2010;6:188-199.
32. Bankova V, Christov R, Kujumgiev A, Marcucci MC, Popov S. Chemical composition and antibacterial activity of Brazilian propolis. Zeitschrift fur Naturforschung, 1995;50:167-172.
33. Zwolan W, Meresta T. Bacteriostatic action of the volatile oils obtained from propolis extracts in relation to Staphylococcus aureus. Herba Polonica, 1947;46:30-34.
34. Grange JM, Davey RW. Antibacterial properties of propolis (bee glue). J R Soc Med, 1990;83:159-160.
36. Mirzoeva OK, Grishanin RN, Calder PC. Antimicrobal action of propolis and its components, the effects on growth membrane potential, and motility of bacteria. Microbiol Res, 1997;152:239-246.
37. Sforcin JM, Bankova V. Propolis: is there a potential for the development of new drugs? J Ethnopharmacol, 2011;133:253-260.
38. Orsi RO, Sforcin JM, Funari SRC, Fernandes Ajr, Bankova V. Synergistic effect of propolis and atibiotics on the Salmonella Typhi. Braz J Microbiol, 2006;37:108-112.
39. Orsi RO, Fernandes AJr, Bankova V, Sforcin JM. The effects of Brazilian and Bulgarian propolis in vitro against Salmonella Typhi and their synergism with antibiotics acting on the ribosome. Nat Prod Res, 2012;26:430-437.
40. Orsi RO, Fernandes Ajr, Bankova V, Sforcin JM. Antibacterial effects of Brazilian and Bulgarian propoliis and synergistic effects with antibiotics acting on the bacterial DNA and folic acid. Nat Prod Res, 2012;26:344-349.
41. Bufalo MC, Ferreira I, Costa G, Francisco V, Liberal J, Cruz MT et al. Propolis and its constituent caffeic acid suppress LPS-stimulated pro-inflammatoryresponse by blocking NF-κB and MAPK activation in macrophages. J Ethnopharmacol, 2013;149:84-92.
42. Vynograd N, Vynograd I, Sosnowski Z. A comparative multi-centre study of the efficacy of propolis, acyclovir and placebo in the treatment of genital herpes (HSV). Phytomedicine, 2010;7:1-6.
43. Banskota AH, Tezuka Y, Kadota S. Recent progress in pharmacological research of propolis. Phytother Res, 2001;15:561-571.
44. David EB, De Carvalho TB, Oliveira CM, Coradi ST, Sforcin JM, Guimaraes S. Characterisation of protease activity in extracellular products secreted by Giardia duodenalis trophozoites treated with propolis. Nat Prod Res, 26:4:370-374.
45. Gressler LT, Da silva AS, Machado G, Dalla Rosa L, Dorneles F, Gressler LT et al. Susceptibility of Trypanosoma evansi to propolis extract in vitro and in experimentally infected rats. Res Vet Sci, 2012;93:1314-1317.
46. Tikhonov AI, Yarnich TG, Cernich VP, Zupanetz I, Tichonov CA. Theory and practice of the production of medical preparations on the basis of propolis (in Russian). Osnova Harkov, 1998; pp:379.
47. Ota C, Unterkircher C, Fantinato V, Shimizu MT. Antifungal activity of propolis on different species of Candida. Mycoses, 2001;44:375-378.
48. Ghaly MF, Ezzat SM, Sarhan MM. Use of propolis and ultragriseofulvin to inhibit aflatoxigenic fungi. Folia Microbiol, 1998;43:156-160.
49. Da Silva SS, Da Silva Thome S, Cataneo AH, Miranda MM, Felipe I, De Jesus Andrade CGT et al. Brazilian propolis antileishmanial and immunomodulatory effects. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2013;2013:673058
50. Watanabe MA, Amarante MK, Conti BJ, Sforcin JM. Cytotoxic constituents of propolis inducing anti cancer effects: a review. J Pharm Pharmacol, 2011:63:1378-1386.
51. Chan GC, Cheung KW, Sze DM. (The immunomodulatory and anticancer properties of propolis, Clin Rev Allergy and Immunol, 2013;44:262-273.
52. Sawicka D, Car H, Borawska MH, Niklinski J. The anticancer activity of propolis. Folia Histochem Cytobiol, 2012;50:25-37.
53. Araujo JR, Goncalves P, Martel F. Chemopreventive effect of dietary polyphenols in colorectal cancer cell lines, Nutr Res, 2011;31:77-87.
54. Moriyasu J, Arai S, Motoda R, Kurimoto M. In vitro activation of mouse macrophage by propolis extract powder. Biother, 1994;8:364-365.
55. Bachiega TF, Orsatti CL, Pagliarone AC, Sforcin JM. The effectsof propolis and its isolated compounds on cytokine production by murine macrophages. Phytother Res, 2012;26:1308-1313.
56. Orsatti CL, Missima F, Pagliarone AC, Bachiega TF, Búfalo MC, Araújo JP Jr et al. Propolis immunomodulatory action in vivo on Toll-like receptors 2 and 4 expression and on pro-inflammatory cytokines productionin mice. Phytother Res, 2010;24:1141-1146.
57. Simoes LM, Gregorio LE, Da Silva Filho AA, de Souza ML, Azzolini AE, Bastos JK et al. Effect of Brazilian green propolis on the production of reactive oxygen species by stimulated neutrophils. J Ethnopharmacol, 2004;94:59-65.
58. Bufalo MC, Bordon-Graciani AP, Conti BJ, Golim MA, Sforcin JM. The immunomodulatory effect of propolis on receptorsexpression, cytokine production and fungicidal activity of human monocytes. J Pharm Pharmacol, 2014;66:1497-1504.
59. Conti BJ, Bufalo MC, Golim MA, Bankova V, Sforcin JM. Cinnamic acid is partially involved in propolis immunomodulatory action on human monocytes. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2013; Article ID 109864
60. Sforcin JM, Orsi RO, Bankova V. Effect of propolis, some isolated compounds and its source plant on antibody production. J Ethnopharmacol, 2005;98:301-305.
61. Olczyk P, Komosinska-Vassev K, Wisowski G, Mencner L, Stojko J, Kozma EM. Propolis modulates fibronectin expression in the matrix of thermal injury. Biomed Res Int, 2014;2014:748101
62. Antunović R. Bolesti usta, zuba i parodonta, Sveučilište sjever, Sveučilišni centar Varaždin, 2015;1-18
63. Laskaris G. Atlas oralnih bolesti, Naklada Slap. Zagreb, 2005.
64. Ikeno K, Ikeno T, Miyazawa C. Effects of propolis on dental caries in rats. Car Res, 1991;25:347-351.
65. Duarte S, Rosalen PL, Hayacibara MF, Cury JA, Bowen WH, Marquis RE et al. The infuence of a novel propolis on mutans streptococci biofilms and caries development in rats. Arch Oral Biol, 2006;51:15-22.
66. Ozan F, Sümer Z, Polat ZA, Er K, Ozan U, Deger O. Effect of mouthrinse containing propolis on oral microorganismsand human gingival fibroblasts. Eur J Dent, 2007;1:195-201.
67. Steinberg D, Kaine G, Gedalia I. Antibacterial effectof propolis and honey on oral bacteria. Am J Dent, 1996;9:236-239.
68. Koo H, Gomes BP, Rosalen PL, Ambrosano GM, Park YK, Cury JA. In vitro antimicrobial activity of propolis and Arnica montana against oral pathogens. Arch Oral Biol, 2000;45:141-148.
69. Botushanov PI, Grigorov GI, Aleksandrov GI. Aclinical study of a silicate toothpaste with extract from propolis. Folia Medica, 2001;43:28-30.
70. Bertolini PF, Biondhi Filho O, Pomilio A, Pinheiro SL, Carvalho MS. Antimicrobial capacity of Aloe vera andpropolis dentifrice against Streptoccocus mutans strains intoothbrushes: an in vitro study. J Appl Oral Sci, 2012;20:32-37.
71. Tanasiewicz M, Skucha-Nowak M, Dawiec M, Król W, Skaba D, Twardawa H. Influence of hygienic preparations with a 3% content of ethanol extract of Brazilian propolis on the state of the oral cavity. Adv Clin Exp Med, 2012;21:81-92.
72. Pereira EM, Da silva JL, Silva FF, De Luca PM, Ferreira FE, Lorentz TCM. Clinical Evidence of the Efficacy of a Mouthwash Containing Propolis for the Control of Plaque and Gingivitis: A Phase II Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2011; 2011:75024
73. Hidaka S, Okamoto Y, Ishiyama K, Hashimoto K. Inhibition of the formation of oral calcium phosphate precipitates: the possible effects of certain honeybee products. J Periodont Res, 2008;43:450-458.
74. Loesche WJ. The effects of antimicrobial mouthrinses on oral malodor and their status relative to US Food and Drug Administration regulations. Quintessence Int, 1990;30:311-318.
75. Van den Broek AM, Feenstra L, De Baat C. A review of the current literature on management of halitosis. Oral Dis, 2008;14:30-39.
76. Sterer N, Rubinstein Y. Effect of various natural medicinals on salivary protein putrefaction and malodor production. Quintessence Int, 2006;37:653-658.
77. Wieckiewicz W, Miernik M, Wieckiewicz M, Morawiec T. Does propolis help to maintain oral health. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2013: Article ID 351062.
78. Bruschi ML, Jones DS, Panzeri H, Gremiao MPD, De Freitas O, Lara EHG. Semisolid systems containingpropolis for the treatment of periodontal disease: in vitro releasekinetics, syringeability, rheological, textural and mucoadhesive properties. J Pharm Sci, 2007;96:2074-2089.
79. Toker H, Ozan F, Ozer H, Ozdemir H, Eren K, Yeler H. A morphometric and histopathologic evaluation of the effects of propolis on alveolar bone loss in experimental periodontitis in rats. J Periodontol, 2008;79:1089-1094.
80. Jamali A, Roostaee MH, Soleimanjahi H, Ghaderi pakdel F, Bamdad T. DNA vaccine-encoded glycoprotein B of HSV-1 fails to protect chronic morphine-treated mice against HSV-1 challenge. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis, 2007;30:71-80.
81. Schnitzler P, Neuner A, Nolkemper S, Zundel C, Nowack H, Sensch KH et al. Antiviral activity and mode of action of propolis extracts and selected compounds. Phytother Res, 2010;24:20-28.
82. Shimizu T, Takeshita Y, Takamori Y, Hisahiro Kai, Rie Sawamura, Hiroki Yoshida et al. Efficacy of Brazilian Propolis against Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Infection in Mice and Their Modes of Antiherpetic Efficacies. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2011;2011:976196
84. Samet N, Laurent C, Susarla SM, Samet-Rubinsteen N. The effect of bee propolis on recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a pilot study. Clin Oral Investig, 2007;11:143-147.
85. Ozan F, Polat ZA, Er K, Ozan U, Deger O. Effect of propolis on survival of periodontal ligament cells: new storage media for avulsed teeth. J Endod, 2007;33:570-573.
86. Gjertsen AW, Stothz KA, Neiva KG, Pileggi R. Effect of propolis on proliferation and apoptosis of periodontal ligament fibroblasts. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod, 2011;112:843-848.
87. Magro-Filho O, De Carvalho AC. Topical effect of propolis in the repair of sulcoplasties by the modified Kazanjian technique, cytological and clinical evaluation. J Nihon Univ Sch Dent, 1994:36:102-111.
88. Lopes-Rocha R, Miranda JL, Lima NL, Oliveira Ferreira F, Aparecida Marinho S, Dornela Verli F. Effect of topical propolis and dexamethasone on the healing of oral surgical wounds. WHSA, 2012;5:25-30.
89. Altan BA, Kara IM, Nalcaci R. Ozan F, Erdogan SM, Ozkut MM. Systemic propolis stimulates new bone formation at the expanded suture: a histomorphometric study. Angle Orthod, 2013;83:286-291.
90. Ahangari Z, Naseri M, Jalili M, Mansouri Y, Mashhadiabbas F, Torkman A. Effect of propolis on dentin regenerationand the potential Role of dental pulp stem cell in guinea pig. Cell J, 2012;13:223-228.
91. Sabir A, Tabbu CR, Agustiono P, Sosroseno W. Histological analysis of rat dental pulp tissue capped with propolis. J Oral Sci, 2005;47:135-138.
92. Byström A, Sundqvist G. Bacteriologic evaluation of the efficacy of mechanical root canal instrumentation in endodontic therapy. Scand J Dent Res, 1981;89:321-328.
93. Pardi G. Detection of Enterococcus faecalis in teeth with endodontic treatment failure. Acta Odontol Venez, 2009;47:110-121
94. Kayaoglu G, Omurlu G, Akca G, Gürel M, Gençay Ö, Sorkun K et al. Antibacterial activity of Propolis versus conventional endodontic disinfectants against Enterococcus faecalis in infected dentinal tubules. J Endod, 2011;37:376-381.
95. Ramos IF, Biz MT, Paulino N, Scremin M, Della Bona A, Barletta FB et al. Histopathological analysis of cortycosteroid-antibiotic preparation and propolispaste formulation as intracanal medication after pulpectomy: an in vivo study. J Appl Oral Sci, 2012;20:50-56.
96. Gendreau L, Loewy ZG. Epidemiology and etiology of denture stomatitis. J Prosthodont, 2011;20:251-226.
97. Santos VR, Gomes RT, De Mesquita RA, De Moura MD, França EC et al. Efficacy of Brazilian propolis gel for the management of denture stomatitis: a pilot study. Phytother Res, 2008;22:1544-1547.
98. Da Silva WJ, Rached RN, Rosalen PL, Del Bel Cury AA. Effects of nystatin, fluconazole and propolis on poly(methyl methacrylate) resin surface. Braz Dent J, 2008;19:190-196.
99. Menniti-Ippolito F, Mazzanti G, Vitalone A, Firenzuoli F, Santuccio C. Surveillance of suspected adverse reactions to natural health products: the case of propolis. Drug Saf, 2008;31:419-423.
100. Hay KD, Greig DE. Propolis allergy: a cause of oral mucositis with ulceration. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol, 1990;70:584-586.
101. Brailo V, Boras VV, Alajbeg I, Juras V. Delayed contact sensitivity on the lips and oral mucosa due to propolis-case report. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal, 2006;11:E303-304.
102. Budimir V, Brailo V, Alajbeg I, Vučićević Boras V, Budimir J. Allergic contact cheilitis and perioral dermatitis caused by propolis: case report. Acta Dermatovenerol Croat, 2012;20:187-190.